Police officers accused of drunken driving
The Globe found at least 30 police officers from Massachusetts have been charged with drunken driving since 2012. Some resigned immediately, but most kept their jobs. Here are examples of some of the cases, based largely on police reports and court documents:
Department: Newton Police
When: March 24, 2012
What: Police spotted Bartinelli speeding down Boylston Street at 51 miles per hour (in a 30-mph zone) and straddling the lanes. Bartinelli said she drank three beers, but declined to take sobriety tests. She was later found guilty of operating under the influence, and her license was suspended for nearly nine months, most of that time for refusing the breath test. Newton police said she was suspended without pay for 45 days and given duties around the station while she lost her driving privileges.
John J. Basler
Department: Massachusetts State Police
When: September 22, 2013
What: Basler was involved in a head-on crash in Plymouth that killed a mother and daughter from Carver, who were returning home from a Red Sox game. Plymouth police initially said they did not find evidence that alcohol was a factor in the crash, but medical records later showed Basler had a blood alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit. In April, a Plymouth County grand jury indicted Basler on motor vehicle homicide, drunken driving, and other related charges. His license was suspended after the accident, and State Police put him on unpaid leave. Basler blamed the other driver for the crash, saying she strayed into his lane.
Department: Springfield Police
When: August 8, 2014
Where: Wells, Maine
What: Collins was pulled over after reports that he was swerving and driving through red lights, before stumbling into a convenience store, then driving off again. When asked how much he had to drink, Collins allegedly replied “probably too much,” then held out his police badge. Collins, who has a previous drunken driving charge from 2001, failed sobriety tests, but refused a breath test. His license is scheduled to be suspended for as long as three years starting next month for refusing the test. A Springfield police spokesman said the department finished its internal investigation, but is waiting for the criminal case to be resolved before holding a disciplinary hearing. Since his license has not yet been suspended, Collins remains on active duty.
Department: Massachusetts State Police
When: November 25, 2013
What: D’Amato slammed into the back of a State Police cruiser parked in the breakdown lane of Route 1 in Revere, striking it so hard the airbags of both cars deployed and the cruiser plowed into the back of a third car the State Police had pulled over. D’Amato’s speech was slurred and he was unable to say where he was headed. When asked his name, he allegedly replied “Charlie.” And when asked for his last name, he responded with an expletive. He refused a breath test, causing his license to be suspended. And D’Amato allegedly told emergency technicians that he smoked crack cocaine shortly before the accident, though drug tests came back negative. D’Amato acknowledged there were sufficient facts to find him guilty of drunken driving. However, the drunken driving charges were continued without a finding, a common resolution for first-time drunk drivers that allows charges to be dismissed once a defendant completes probation. D’Amato was initially suspended without pay, then placed on restricted duty.
Sean P. Gately
Department: Massachusetts State Police
When: June 13, 2014
What: Gately has been charged twice with drunken driving in the past six years. After an arrest in New Hampshire in 2008, the charges were reduced to operating recklessly after he refused to blow into the breath tester a second time to confirm that his blood alcohol was over the limit. He also refused to have blood taken at the hospital, claiming he was a Muslim. In the most recent case, Gately crashed into another vehicle in Chelmsford. He had a blood alcohol level of 0.26, more than triple the limit. The case was continued without a finding, allowing the charges to be dismissed once he completes probation. He resigned after he was suspended without pay.
Department: Sudbury Police
When: May 2, 2013
What: Glavin, the Sudbury police chief, was arrested and charged with drunken driving after allegedly assaulting another driver. The other driver told police Glavin crashed into his car twice and threatened him. Police said Glavin refused to take sobriety tests, but slurred his speech, had bloodshot eyes, and admitted, “I’m drunk.” Three open bottles of Smirnoff vodka were found inside his car, a town vehicle. Glavin resigned the next day. He was later found guilty of operating under the influence and lost his license for a year.
Department: MBTA Transit Police
When: July 26, 2014
Where: Salem, NH
What: Police in Salem, N.H., arrested Jaime after allegations that he assaulted a woman at a party and then drove into several parked cars. Police also found evidence he crashed into cement posts and a drive-through canopy at a bank. After Jaime was spotted near the bank, police said, Jaime fled into the woods and resisted arrest. He was later charged with driving while intoxicated, resisting arrest, felony assault charges, and other charges. The MBTA placed Jaime on paid leave.
Richard P. Jeanetti
Department: Boston Police
When: May 24, 2012
What: Jeanetti allegedly sped through a stop sign in Hyde Park and slammed into two other cars. One of the other drivers, Briana O’Neill, was badly injured when she was ejected from the vehicle and had to wear a neck brace for eight months. Medical tests showed Jeanetti had a blood alcohol rate of 0.27, triple the legal limit of 0.08. His car’s “black box” indicated he was driving 68 miles an hour, more than double the speed limit for the area. O’Neill complained that Jeanetti wasn’t initially ticketed or arrested, but he was charged with drunken driving a month after the crash. Last year, Jeanetti pleaded guilty to operating under the influence and resigned from the Boston Police as part of the plea bargain.
Department: Barnstable Police
When: May 26, 2012 & July 13, 2012
Where: South Burlington, Vt.
What: Kynoch was arrested twice for drunken driving in Vermont in less than two months in 2012. In both cases, he registered a blood alcohol level above the legal limit. But Barnstable police didn’t initially find out about the first incident, and department rules didn’t require him to report it. After the second arrest, Vermont State Police notified the Barnstable police about the arrests. In November, Kynoch was found guilty of the first OUI charge and guilty of negligent operation for the second. Kynoch resigned in January 2013 after the department began the process of firing him.
Department: Andover Police
When: March 11, 2013
What: Lowell police said Robitaille crashed into another car on I-495 in Lowell, then fled and drove to a nearby gas station in his damaged Honda Pilot. Several witnesses said he appeared to be intoxicated. Instead of arresting him or giving him a breath test, Lowell police arranged for an off-duty Andover police officer to give him a ride home. After prosecutors learned about the incident, a Middlesex grand jury indicted him seven months after the fact on charges of operating under the influence, misleading a police officer, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, and leaving the scene of an accident. Robitaille’s attorney argued there wasn’t enough evidence that he was driving under the influence. As part of a plea bargain, Robitaille was sentenced to probation and the charges of OUI and deceiving a police officer were dropped. He left the department on Nov. 25, 2013, a month after he was indicted.
Daniel J. Perkins
Department: Sandwich Police
When: November 30, 2013
What: Perkins was charged with operating under the influence after his car veered off the roadway in Mashpee, struck a guardrail and flipped over. Medical records obtained by Mashpee police show his blood alcohol level was .22, nearly three times the legal limit. An internal investigation by the Sandwich police said he and a fellow officer had a few drinks at British Beer Co. in Sandwich, then went to a Mashpee strip club. The department found that speed and alcohol were factors in Perkins’s crash and suspended him for 60 days. But Sandwich chief Peter Wack said there was no need to fire Perkins, because the officer had a good performance record and took responsibility for the incident.
Department: Fall River Police
When: January 12, 2013
What: Swansea police were called after a BMW hit a vehicle and then drove off. When a police officer caught up with the BMW driver, he recognized him as Raposo, a Fall River police officer. Raposo said he had been drinking and slurred his words. When the officer asked him to step out of the vehicle, according to the police report, Raposo became irate, shouting, “I’m a [expletive] cop. Can’t you give me a ride home?” Raposo refused a blood alcohol test. He was cited for operating to endanger, operating under the influence, and leaving the scene of an accident. Raposo later pleaded to sufficient facts for a guilty finding in March 2013 and the case was continued without a finding, allowing the case to be dismissed if he completes probation, including an alcohol education program. Raposo resigned in May 2014 after he was arrested for allegedly kicking a woman.
Michael P. Sheehan
Department: Tewksbury Police
When: August 27, 2014
What: State Police responded to complaints about a Jeep driving erratically on I-495 in Westford. Sheehan refused to stop, leading police on a three-mile chase. When police finally caught up with him, they said Sheehan announced he was a cop and “wanted a break.” Sheehan, who was previously charged with drunken driving in 1985, refused a breath test and sobriety tests, but admitted he had been drinking earlier in the day. He was charged with operating under the influence, failing to stop for police, and a driving infraction. Sheehan, who was put on unpaid leave, retired in November. He is the brother of Tewksbury police chief Timothy Sheehan.
Department: Massachusetts State Police
When: September 21, 2012
What: Stoughton Police found Simpkins slumped across the steering wheel of his car with the engine running in a Wendy’s parking lot on September 21, 2012. Police said he appeared intoxicated — confused, with bloodshot eyes, unsteady on his feet, and a half-empty beer container next to him. He later admitted drinking after a softball game and at two different bars before visiting the Wendy’s. But Simpkins declined to take a breath test. A district court judge who rarely convicts drunk drivers acquitted him of the criminal charges after throwing out much of the other evidence on a technicality. Simpkins lost his license for a year for refusing to take the breath test, but he remained a state trooper. He was previously arrested for operating under the influence in 1993.
Eric G. Wayne
Department: Lowell Police
When: July 4, 2013 & August 23, 2014
Where: Lowell, Methuen
What: Wayne was accused of drunken driving twice in a little over a year. Lowell Police first arrested Wayne for drunken driving on Independence Day last year after he failed sobriety tests. Wayne refused a breath test, causing his license to be suspended for 180 days, but was initially placed on paid leave and then reinstated in June 2014 after the court case dragged on. Wayne was then accused of drunken driving again after a fatal accident in August. Wayne’s Land Rover allegedly crossed the double yellow line and crashed into a 1988 Mercury Mountaineer, killing the driver, Briant Paula, and sending Paula’s sister to the hospital with minor injuries. Police said Wayne lied about his name and refused to give his address or driver’s license. He refused a breath test, causing his license to be suspended again. Wayne resigned from the police department in September, just before he was indicted on several charges, including manslaughter and motor vehicle homicide while under the influence of alcohol. He has pleaded not guilty.